By Victoria Ojeme
ABUJA- Federal Government and Switzerland on Monday held a political consultation to deepen the existing diplomatic engagement in economic cooperation, migration issues and human trafficking, Foreign Affairs Ministry has said.
The Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Amb Olukunle Bamgbose, stated this at the opening ceremony of the high level dialogue between Nigeria and Switzerland.
Bamgbose led Nigerian delegation while Ambassador of Switzerland to Nigeria to Nigeria, Krystyna Marty-Lang led Swiss delegation at the meeting.
While reiterating Nigeria’s commitment in deepening both countries relations, Bamgbose assured Switzerland that the outcome of the deliberations would be acted upon to ensure optimum results.
“We also hope for more collaborative efforts in addressing the human trafficking and re-facilitated re-integrated programs for migrants.
“I am confident that this round of our deliberations will move the process closer towards the realisation of the set objectives.
“The time and energy that we have all invested in this endeavor made this day possible,” he said.
Bamgbose said the dialogue which started some years back reinforced the optimism of both counties that the important process would continue to endure the test of time.
The Permanent Secretary said that it also served yet as another platform for the strengthening and deepening of Nigeria-Swiss relations.
He commended the genuine commitment that has so far been demonstrated by both sides to the partnership, which he said, had become a model in Nigeria’s exertions with other countries.
“It is heart-warming to know that our two countries have succeeded in streamlining the issues of mutual interest in a more organised and coherent manner under this platform.
“It is against this backdrop that Nigeria welcomes the opportunity to participate in this discussion amongst friends, with a view to learning from each other’s experience and best practices,” Bamgbose said.
He said Nigeria and Switzerland were traditional partners who had devised mechanisms to broaden and deepen the scope of engagements such that the outcome of both efforts is mutually-beneficial.
He said Nigeria truly appreciate the engagement and pledged the continued cooperation of Nigeria to the partnership.
The leader of Swiss delegation said Switzerland and Nigeria had a very longstanding and friendship relationship that dated back to the days of independence.
Marty-Lang said:“This relationship has been very positive and productive. It reflects in the quality exchanges and joints successes.
“We have a long list of high ranking visits and we are very much disposed for some upcoming visits this year”.
Marty-Lang said that Switzerland was very proud of its partnership with Nigeria in the field of migration and human rights.
“I strongly believe that this week of exchange, has laid the groundwork for future cooperation and for deepening our already good and very close relationship,” Marty-Lang stated.
Marty-Lang further said the Swiss government looked forward to the exchange and expressed confidence that both countries would discover many more fields of intensified cooperation.